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#98277 - 06/24/08 07:03 AM Re: possible list [Re: johndavid]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
I have been debating the different tarp types. There are the ones like I listed that are made to be setup just 1 way but cover the most space with the minimum required weight. Then there are the flat ones that can be setup however you feel like it. They are more heavier, more difficult to setup but have the most options. The "full coverage" tarps like the Integral Design SilShelter is pretty nice and weighs just over a pound. I have been considering that one the longest and might just stick with it but I still need more research and to talk to more tarp packers (I don't know to many people. My friends are either heavy packers or minimalists).

Thanks for your list of tarps. I have looked at al of them and am still researching. My list may change some, but I think I am on the right track.

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#98278 - 06/24/08 07:11 AM Re: possible list [Re: stevetoney]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
You mentioned lots of new stuff to research now <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Just to say again...my intention of going bivy/tarp or just bivy doesn't have as much to do with weight as much as just being outdoors more and seeing the country, even in teh middle of the night. I am a super light sleeper so when I hear something outside my tent, it takes forever to go back to sleep. I am not worried about the bugs cuz I will make sure I have the right minimalist bivy with a mesh for protection.

I really have my heart set on a back weighing at the maximum 20lbs. If I can achieve this with a 4 season bivy and a 3 season tarp, then the extra weight won't really matter as much I guess.

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#98279 - 06/24/08 07:18 AM Re: possible list [Re: freakinaye]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:
The gossamer packs comes with a small pad that can be used exclusively for the backing. I can use both my POE and the torso pad since the torso pad only adds like .4 oz.

I still am debating hammocks. I think the only reason why I don't do it, is because I am beginning to see that my dog might be my only backpacking companion and it wouldn't be good to leave her alone below me. Hammocks do seem like the way to go. I am all about sleeping comfortably and I haven't heard anything negative about them (except non forested enviroments not working...but that is a mute point).


Depending on the size of the dog, it can easily get in most hammocks with you, and there's some extra warmth. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Some people's dogs appear to have no troubles sleeping on their own pad under the tarp/hammock. A two person hammock like the ENO double would probably suit a person and a big dog well enough.

Most hammocks also double as a bivy. The Claytor in particular seems suited to this. Hennessy hammocks can be propped up with trekking poles as a bivy/bugnet. Check out the manufacturer websites for pictures.

Not that I'm on the sales team for hammocking, just saying there are options.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#98280 - 06/24/08 07:48 AM Re: possible list [Re: freakinaye]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Some of my thoughts:
PAD:
This requires several nights of experimenting. Everyone is sooo different.
I used to have the POE pad on your wish list. It was OK. The 1st one leaked; POE fixed it. I didnít like the valve placement; uncomfortable. Then I got the Torsolite http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/torsolite_inflatable_sleeping_pad.html It is much more comfortable for about 1oz more.

Before I forget, the pack you picked--- I have the similar Mariposa. Just use the $8 sit pad in the pocket/frame and take out the fiber poles. It fits very well then (when packed correctly). And that sit pad is so convenient for kneeling, sitting, using under your feet at night, etc.,

Also, for the same comfort and less weight, I use the GG Nightlite Torso http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/nightlight_torso.html with bumps down (3.5oz). On top of that I put an open cell egg crate pad bumps up (1.5Ēx11Ēx17Ē 3oz). This fills in the spaces/grooves/curves in my back.

However, for shorter trips, I have been loving the 3/4 Prolite 4 (16oz). I have found it to be more comfortable than the full length Prolite 4!

TARP/BIVY:
I was in the Rocky Mountains last year and happened upon mosquitoes galore! Ouch! I couldnít wait to get into my GG Classic Squall. Then I had room to move and breath, stretch, relax, read, etc., I canít imagine being stuck in a tight-spaced bivy (though it should protect).

The tarp you picked (Patrol Shelter) looks nice with the spectralite (6oz). Take away your bivy and add their bug net (Serenity Shelter)-- maybe it would be more comfortable; a nice 12oz solo shelter! But I wonder how fast they deliver? Email them. I asked about their climashield quilt and they said it would deliver in 10 weeks; too long for me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />.

On another note, that offer by Steve below (Lunar Solo), looks mighty tempting for bad weather and bug protection with room to sprawl out in.

BAG:
24oz for a 30F bag sounds good. I wonder if thatís an optimistic temperature rating though. My 850 Fill Western Mountaineering bag weighs the same and also rated at 30F. I would think the WM to be warmer since it has higher power of down.

May you be able to get out and backpack soon!

-Barry

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#98281 - 06/24/08 08:02 AM Re: possible list [Re: stevetoney]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
Since you have spent many days backpacking in the rockies...can you tell me if my bivy/tarp/bag is a wise choice? I am not looking for a 4 season solution...just a mid-may to mid-october solution. During early spring and late fall I will most likely not go above 10k in elevation just because hiking in snow really isn't that much fun <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#98282 - 06/24/08 08:11 AM Re: possible list [Re: BarryP]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
your recommendations are comepletely in line with what I am looking for <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

My only worry is when you say to ditch the bivy and go with the bug net. That is fine assuming that I don't require the extra protection of a bivy during stormy nights. If I have complete confidence in my tarp then this is not an issue. I think the only way I will ditch a bivy is if I have something like the SilShelter where I can get every side to touch the ground. If I do that, then I mind as well just go with a tarp tent or the gossamer "TheOne". I also think that if I ditch a bivy I better go down to the WM 20F bag which isn't that big of a deal. I just have to make sure that my shelter/bag/pack all come together in perfect harmony <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I welcome all comment from tarp packers who say they are 100% satisfied with their tarp and don't require the extra protection from a bivy.

The .6oz spectralite seems cool but I wonder about the protection it offers since it is so light. Do you think it can survive alpine weather in the rockies? It seems that it won't last through a windy thunderstorm but I could be wrong. If it does, the weight is crazy and I can just go with their other larger tarp and seriously ditch the bivy.

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#98283 - 06/24/08 08:13 AM Re: possible list [Re: lori]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
I think I might do research on this then. I only have a beagle, so the size isn't a problem, it would just be the mud that I would be concerned about. If anything having her in my hammock would keep her from wondering off in the middle of the night and getting lost. You know how those beagles can't ever keep still <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#98284 - 06/24/08 03:44 PM Re: possible list [Re: freakinaye]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I just remembered something else about the Silshelter: there's a bug liner made to go with it, as an insert. It's all mesh and weighs 19 oz. Given the full-coverage nature of the Silshelter, the Bug Liner (which can be pitched separately) might be a better choice than a bivy? It would certainly have more headroom, and be wider; it might be just the ticket for stargazing on a clear night.

I had one, but only used it once. Getting in and out was a little tricky (the hiking pole partly blocked the door opening), but it was pleasant enough once I got in. I think I'd have gotten the knack of it fairly easily if I had used it more. Before I got more experience, I ended up with the Hubba (same functionality) and was happy to pay the pound for the extra convenience (Hubba=3 lbs; Silshelter & insert=2 pounds.)

The Silshelter and Bug Insert might just be a good solution if bugs are a problem. If they weren't, I might be very tempted to go with the Silshelter and a solo groundcloth (also an ID product - under Accessories; available in various sizes.

The Silshelter is probably the only tarp I'd consider using without a bivy; the bivy protects against any spray that blows in at the open ends of the tarp. If the Hubba hadn't come along, I'd still be using my Silshelter.

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#98285 - 06/24/08 06:44 PM Re: possible list [Re: freakinaye]
stevetoney Offline
member

Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 45
Yes, a tarp/bivy/bag will work.. I've only been to the rockies August-October as I have to fly out there from the east coast so not much spring experience..

As I noted, the rockies are where I've used the bivy setup the most..

I was rained on at some point every night I've spent in a bivy on one of the RMNP trips

If I had to choose only one shelter.. I'd get a solo tent, if you want your dog inside get a lightweight two person or a biggest solo carefully seeing how much floor space you are after.

I now lean more toward bomber tents in the mountains having enjoyed storms and some snow dumps... My tarptent are used in the forests in milder months where the mesh and ventilation are welcome

I've had some enjoyable winter hiking trips, but they have only been good if the snow is good and not anywhere near melting slushy and the temps are not prolonged really really cold..

I had a 5 day stretch in the NE where most temps were below zero or in single digits.. learned a lot on that trip on dealing with cold on a mulitple day trip, but it was not fun....

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#98286 - 06/25/08 07:18 AM Re: possible list [Re: Glenn]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
If I was considering the SilShelter and the bug tent then I mind as well just go with a single wall solo tent or something that is significantly lighter. The best tent choice (for me anyways) at an amazing 19oz overall is Gossamer TheOne.

If I was going tarp/bivy I would have to keep the weight close to the same otherwise I am not really benefiting in anyways except for perhaps more versitility depending on condisions which is a good thing to think about. Weather is the Rockies may not be predictable but pretty easy to plan for depending on the time of year.

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#98287 - 06/25/08 07:21 AM Re: possible list [Re: stevetoney]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
yeah...I have learned that if you are going to change your backpacking gear going UL or whatever, start in the middle of summer and slowly change it out looking at the conditions. I am considering going all-out but it would be a very big deal that I shouldn't take lightly. I think I will go overboard on warmth knowing that it won't get that bad and slowly start sheding excess clothes weight and I get more comfortable.

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#98288 - 06/25/08 08:14 AM Re: possible list [Re: freakinaye]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
I use full-coverage tarps almost exclusively and always take a bivvy. You'll find that without snow (or dead leaves, etc.) to bank around edges of such a tarp, wind chill can occur, even with edges carefully staked to ground. To say nothing of rain splash, drips, or unexpected drainage patterns.

These alone are reasons enough to include bivvy with these shelters. Also with floorless shelter, bivvy makes it possible to dispense with ground sheet, a potentially significant weight savings. This may or may not suit the individual's taste.

Also, the added warmth and weight of a bivvy can, to some extent, be subtracted from the weight and warmth required of a sleeping bag.

Also, bivvy offers peace of mind for temporary bag storage in camp. Shelter can blow down, camp invaded by plague of centipedes and arachnids and maggots, and bag remains clean and dry inside bivvy, which also makes stuff-sack redundant and useless.

With snow, a full-coverage tarp can be fully sealed from wind and is an entirely effective winter shelter.

At the other extreme, if you want a set-up where you can look around outside, just raise the edges a few feet off the ground and leave the door open.

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#98289 - 06/25/08 03:51 PM Re: possible list [Re: freakinaye]
jaiden Offline
member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 123
Quote:
yeah...I have learned that if you are going to change your backpacking gear going UL or whatever, start in the middle of summer and slowly change it out looking at the conditions. I am considering going all-out but it would be a very big deal that I shouldn't take lightly. I think I will go overboard on warmth knowing that it won't get that bad and slowly start sheding excess clothes weight and I get more comfortable.


good idea. You won't die from carrying too much weight, but you will die if you freeze. I would rather carry an extra pound of down than an extra pound of food. It will take you a few days to die of thirst, a few weeks from hunger, but only a few hours from cold/heat/exposure.

UL and SUL are a process, not a magic formula. You can't just copy the gear list of experts and be ready for anything. I'm not saying to buy heavy and bomb proof, but it's good to take certain precautions, even if it means extra weight. For example, I carry a 16oz nalgene bottle because I know I can fill it with boiling water and it will keep me warm at night in a pinch when stuffed inside my clothes/bag. Sure that's 5 ounces I may not need, but it's a safety net. I also carry a poncho tarp in addition to my primary shelter, so I have a backup if a tree, airplane or space alien falls on my hammock and destroys it and manages not to kill me in the process. A little extra sil nylon or down doesn't weigh that much. Maybe some day I'll trim down, but with a 4 season base weight between 13 and 18 pounds, I think I'm light enough for now. I brought back 3 pounds of food from my last trip, and it would be a lot easier to fix THAT than buy (for example) a cuben tarp to save 8 ounces at a cost of $300.

but that's just me. YMMV.

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#98290 - 06/26/08 07:54 AM Re: possible list [Re: jaiden]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
On another token you need to be able to enjoy your trip. If you are carrying to much weight and in my case destroy my knees the first day, then the trip is ruined and I may not want to go out again for quite sometime. Luckily I atleast have an understanding on what to bring and during the warm summer months in the Rockies, the list of warm gear isn't all that necessary (depending on altitude and location of course). I still need to get a pack down to a a maximum weight for 20lbs and that is simply because I need YUMMY food <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I can't be like my friend and live on oatmeal, and potato flakes the whole trip <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#98291 - 06/29/08 01:50 PM best bivy tarp combo (REALLY??) [Re: freakinaye]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Are there REALLY this many people on this forum using bivys & tarps?

Why not a lighter, well ventilated 1 person single wall tarp/tent shelter W/ sewn-in floor?
To me bivys are for winter use in snow shelters. The only bivy material I'd consider is eVent. Everything else, even the best Gore-Tex, has too much condensation, especially for down bags.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#98292 - 06/29/08 02:48 PM Re: best bivy tarp combo (REALLY??) [Re: 300winmag]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Quote:
Are there REALLY this many people on this forum using bivys & tarps?

Why not a lighter, well ventilated 1 person single wall tarp/tent shelter W/ sewn-in floor?
To me bivys are for winter use in snow shelters. The only bivy material I'd consider is eVent. Everything else, even the best Gore-Tex, has too much condensation, especially for down bags.



Eric,

I think many of the ultralighters using a "bivy" are using what you might call a sleeping bag cover -- not a true mountaineering waterproof bivy sack. These UL bivies have a waterproof bottom made (usually) of sil-nylon, and a breatheable nylon top, often with a large mesh panel for ventilation. They are *not* waterproof and must be used under a tarp in bad weather. Goretex need not apply <g>.

So why bother? The bivy adds warmth and excellent wind and water resistance to the bag, allowing a smaller tarp and/or worse weather. The mesh bug netting keeps the bugs out.

Sure, I could get a Tarptent Contrail for the same weight (24 oz) as my bivy and tarp combo. But I like the combo for the versatility and the space. I can use the bivy by itself cowboy camping, or in an AT shelter in the summer, when the bugs would otherwise drive me nuts. Add the tarp in rainy or cold weather, and I get large amounts of covered space for myself, my gear, cooking, eating, sleeping, etc.

Here are two photos:

http://tinyurl.com/33nw6a

http://tinyurl.com/32duop

and a link:

http://tinyurl.com/2gqmew


Hope this helps clarify things.

--Ken
_________________________
--Ken B

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#98293 - 06/29/08 06:14 PM Re: best bivy tarp combo (REALLY??) [Re: kbennett]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
My personal system is what it is, and it's certainly not unique, but I definitely have my prejudices that certainly aren't derived from Moses....

One of my main sleeping bags in recent years, is Western Mting "Highlite" that weighs 17 ounces. I like it pretty well, but the shell material is horribly delicate. By itself, it's "rated" at about 35 degrees.

Regardless of what bag I'm using, I bring an 18-ounce bivvy, somewhat as described immediately above. One VERY clear advantage is that the bivvy compensates a lot for the super-light shell of the Highlite.

The bivvy also adds a lot of warmth (more, or less, DEPENDING on wind and other factors) tons of versatility (usable with various bags or alone) and of course, obviously, doubles weight of sleeping system using WM bag.

Almost always, lately, I use one or another floorless "tarp shelter," specifically either Golite Hex, MSR Twin Peaks, or the SilShelter from .. that Canadian company...

I normally dispense with a grounsheet. As I haven't managed to investigate Tivek and use builders plastic, or similar material (or my Korean War-era shredded army poncho). THIS FACTOR ALONE is more than compensation for extra weight of my particular bivvy.


The notion that a bivvy is an alternative to a tent is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to my system. Personally I'd never use a bivvy as sole shelter, even if mine were theoretically suitable, which it is NOT. I think this notion creates MASS CONFUSION about potential advantages of bivvy sacks. Hearing people compare square feet of the floor of a bivvy with that of a solo tent, to me, is crazy.

There are times, rarely, when I don't use any shelter other than bivvy, but not when weather is truly inclement.

These high-end bivvys with poles are as heavy as certain tents. I consider them mere curiousities.

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#98294 - 06/30/08 07:08 AM Re: best bivy tarp combo (REALLY??) [Re: 300winmag]
freakinaye Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/07
Posts: 58
Loc: Colorado
I am just looking for the same thing that other bivy/tarp packers use. They want more room then can be offered with a single man tarptent and they want the option to change their sleeping systems depending on conditions. My main reason is I want to be able to look around me in the middle of the night when I hear some weird noise <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#98295 - 06/30/08 07:57 AM Re: best bivy tarp combo (REALLY??) [Re: 300winmag]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
Are there REALLY this many people on this forum using bivys & tarps?

Why not a lighter, well ventilated 1 person single wall tarp/tent shelter W/ sewn-in floor?
To me bivys are for winter use in snow shelters. The only bivy material I'd consider is eVent. Everything else, even the best Gore-Tex, has too much condensation, especially for down bags.

Eric
Yeah, I'm totally into bivy and poncho/tarp. It's not lighter because I use a 2 pound CF gortex bivy, but I love the versatility and openness and freedom of crashing just about anywhere, the whole sleeping like a deer thing. Haven't dealt with severe bugs yet.

The exception is when I hike with my daughter in summer I bring her small tent, just barely big enough for the two of us but very comfortable for her and, and uncomfortable enough for me to stay alert. If anyone is going to get their feet poked at it will be me. With her along you see I am worried about stuff like West Nile and Lyme disease, but also bears. Bears are not a serious threat here in New Brunswick, but with a child so small you never know. They eat young moose, so why not? It's not like the nylon would stop a bear. I just feel better knowing she is zipped in and less likely to roll off into harms way. I'm hoping this is a language that bears understand; 'I'm keeping my kid close, don't mess with me.' I also try to smell a lot louder than she does. That ain't difficult, but I avoid using stuff on her like lemon flavoured bug spray. This just seems right. Not alot of real data on such things. Never enough.

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